Exploring the wilderness of New Zealand on foot is immensely rewarding and is something that three-quarters of a million people do each year. However, it comes with some unique challenges. Our landscape is rugged, steep, remote and often covered in dense bush or is exposed to wild weather patterns. The weather can be notoriously fickle and changes can occur very quickly. Don’t be surprised if you’re caught in a storm in the middle of summer, especially if your intended journey takes you above 1000m altitude.
Watch how to pack for a tramp
Tracks here can differ dramatically and will require different levels of fitness, equipment and planning. It's important to recognise that the perceived risk of a day walk can be very low, where as the potential risk can be surprisingly high.
You can find out more about how to choose a track on our Trip Planning Section of our website. Excellent sources for local track information are DOC Visitor Centres and I-sites.
Our Tramping Video Series is an excellent place to observe the possible conditions and obstacles you can expect on a classic NZ track. Watch the promo video below.
The remoteness of many of New Zealand's tracks means you can't rely on your cellphone if you need help. It's up to you to make smart decisions and tell someone your plans before you head out. That way if you're not back when you expected to be, someone can send out a call for help on your behalf. It doesn't take a big injury to slow you or your group down considerably and there are plenty of people who've got lost at a track junction. If you do have an 'incident' in the outdoors and you end up spending an unexpected night out, the temperature can drop dramatically and its often damp as well. You'll be thankful you planned accordingly. Plan as a group and stay together as a group.
What you take with you will make all the difference if something were to go wrong such as getting lost, delayed or injured.
pdf Basic Gear List for outdoors pdf – 207 KB
or you can find more on our Supplies section.
Continue your preparation with our online resources, there is still plenty to learn to ensure for a safe and enjoyable trip!